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SKIMMER ATTACKS :






What is ATM Skimming?

Automatic teller machine skimming occurs when a criminal places a small device over the card slot on an ATM. This device looks like the original card slot, and it blends into the face of the ATM.


When we insert the ATM card, then the skimmer collects all the information from the magnetic strip which is at the back of our card. It collects our entire card details, including the PIN number of our ATM card. They also place the wireless micro-camera at the top of the ATM machine that records the PIN as we type it into the keyboard.


Some of the places where the cameras are often hidden include:

  • In the brochure holder of the ATM

  • In the light bar at the top of the keypad

  • In the speaker on the face of the ATM

  • In a box behind the small mirror on the ATM

They.also replace the keypad of the ATM with the fake keypad (KEYLOGGER) whatever we enter on that keypad the information will be saved in that logger. The skimmer is the macro tool that collects the entire information from our ATM cards.


Our entire information is stored in that skimmer, they clone our cards and use it for their own purpose. When our cards are cloned, it looks like the same original ATM card. Without our knowledge, our account gets empty. Because when our ATM is cloned then the fraudsters use our ATM cards in other countries or in some other states by swiping in shopping malls etc....




Types of ATM Skimming

There are two common skimming scenarios. In the first one, a device called a “skimmer” is placed on the face of an operational ATM. When a card is swiped, the skimmer records the data on the card, and a camera is hidden in a brochure holder or security mirror records the PIN. Usually, money is dispensed and the user is none the wiser.


In the second scenario, a used ATM is rigged to record data and placed in a public area. These ATM are only semi-operational and do not dispense cash. Users think that they're broken, but they're really just stealing card data. ​

There are a few types of devices that criminals use for ATM skimming:

  • Card reader overlays: These plastic devices fit over the slot where you insert your card. They steal and store your card data when you put your card in them.

  • Hidden cameras: These are usually very tiny and can be placed on or around an ATM to help thieves keep an eye on the area and capture PINs.

  • PIN-capture overlays: These fake keypads fit over an ATM's actual keypad to capture PINs.

  • ATM faceplates: These overlays fit over the entire ATM faceplate and can contain everything from card readers to keypad overlays to hidden cameras.



How to Protect Yourself

  1. Scrutinize the ATM: This means every ATM, even ones from your bank. You also want to check any of the card sliders like ones at gas stations, etc, especially if you’re using your debit card.

  2. If the scanner does not match the color and style of the machine, it might be a skimmer. You should also “shake” the card scanner to see if it feels like there’s something attached to the card reader on the ATM. Also look for loose wires, tiny holes, scratches, tape, or anything else suspicious on the machine.

  3. Cover the keypad when entering your PIN: In order to access your bank accounts, thieves need to have your card number and your PIN. By covering the keypad, you prevent cameras and onlookers from seeing your PIN.

  4. Check your bank and credit card statements often: If someone does get your information, you should notify your bank as soon as possible.

  5. Be choosy: Don’t use general ATM's at bars or restaurants. These are not usually monitored and can be easily tampered by anyone.

Different Scams Associated with Skimming


There are a number of different scams that are associated with ATM skimming. They are as follows:

Fake ATM's – In this case, the crook will actually install a fake machine in an area that will attract users. What the victims don’t know is that every time they swipe their card, the thief gets their information.


Wedge Skimming – This is when an employee runs a card through a reader tool that transfers the data collected from the magnetic stripe of the card. The crook then downloads this information, burns it onto a fake/cloned card, and then uses that card to make phone or online orders.


Data Intercepting – This practice occurs when a crook poses as a serviceman at a gas pump, for instance, unlocks the pump with a special key, and then installs a device to read any card that is swiped through it.


Point of Sale Swapping – POS Swapping occurs when a skimming device is placed at a card terminal where a purchase is made. No retailer is safe, and even companies such as McDonald’s have been a target.


ATM Skimming – As mentioned, this is when a thief installs a card reader and camera into an ATM machine. They are very inconspicuous, often wireless, and can read the PIN and card data.

Skimmers are not only used in the ATMs even they are used in the restaurants in malls too when we give out ATM cards for swiping we don't know if the swipe machine is safe or not. When they swipe your card then the information of the card will be stored in that machine.


In some restaurants, the waiter will have the link with the fraudsters and they insert the skimmer in the swiping machine when any customer swipes his card then entire information will be stored in that skimmer and they will clone our ATM card and they take over the money which is present in our bank.




Precautions should be taken :

  • Check the ATM slot before we are inserting the ATM card once.

  • If you have any doubt on that ATM machine, then change your pin after withdrawing your money from that ATM machine.

  • Before entering your PIN once check the keypad.

  • When you get any message from the bank like your card is used in other places without your knowledge then go to the bank and block your ATM card.

  • Try to avoid online payment by swiping the card better to pay with the cash. Our security is our responsibility.



Most of the cyber crimes are happening on the Banks, ATMs only because money is everything in this present world. In India, till now so many cases have been registered regarding bank frauds and ATM frauds only.


In some cases the victim may get money in return in some cases the victim may not get money back. In India, many people don't report the bank frauds and ATM frauds, thinking that their money won't return if we register the case on fraudsters. Police investigates, these crimes only when people go and report it in the Cyber Cell. If no one reports about these crimes then they think that everything is fine and normal.



If you are a cyber crime victim and are seeking for help the we are here :

https://www.anticybercrime.org/report-cyber-crime




Published by :



Shaik Sulthan, Blog writer at ACCS ( Anti Cyber Crime Society )




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